Latest Rail News

Sound Transit on Sept. 21 will celebrate the tenth anniversary of its Sounder commuter rail service, which has grown in ridership from 102,552 in its first year of operation to an estimated 2.8 million by the end of this year.

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Work on the EJ&E railway bridge over Interstate 88 in northeastern Illinois, which starts Sept. 17, will result in a temporary shifting of lanes on the tollway, the Geneva, Ill., Sun reports.

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Air quality watchdogs in Southern California can't impose limits on emissions from idling trains because they could interfere with interstate commerce that the federal government regulates, a federal appeals court ruled Sept. 15, the Los Angeles Times reports.

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(The following editorial appeared in the Newark, N.J., Star-Ledger Sept. 16, 2010.) If Gov. Chris Christie abandons the Hudson rail tunnel project, it will make his administration's $400-million blunder over Race to the Top seem like only a warm-up exercise. The federal government has already agreed to devote $3 billion to the project, the largest dedication of federal support for mass transit ever.

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Chicago-area Regional Transportation Authority officials predicted that there will be no major expansion of the Chicago area's transit system for many years and that fare increases are likely as early as next year just to keep the existing system operating, the Chicago Tribune reports.

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The Illinois Commerce Commission's Railroad Safety Section has issued a Request for Grant Proposals for local railroad safety education and enforcement programs. The ICC recently received a grant from the Federal Railroad Administration to continue working with local communities and railroads in Illinois to implement railroad safety education or enforcement programs.

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Sound Transit contractors in the Seattle area will adjust light rail track switches on Martin Luther King Jr. Way South the weekend of Sept. 1 8-19. Link trains will be delayed from 5 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday because of the work.

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In as little as seven years, passenger service could return to the Florida East Coast Railway for the first time since 1968. But it's going to take a mountain of cash and political will to make it happen, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

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September 17-19, Washington, D.C., Metro will upgrade its platforms and replace a track switch on the Red, Yellow and Green lines to improve long-term reliability and service. As a result of this crucial work, which is critical to maintain the railroad in a state of good repair, riders can expect delays of up to 30 minutes.

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In anticipation of a hearing on federal rail policy, Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, released a Committee staff report, The Current Financial State of the Class 1 Freight Rail Industry, showing that the largest American freight railroad companies have been earning record profit margins at the expense of their shipper customers. The findings of the report suggest that the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, a 30-year-old law giving railroads the authority to charge many U.S. businesses extraordinarily high shipping rates, needs to be reformed.

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